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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029

little naive, do these Vintage and Anchor Books not cut into the Modern Library sales because sometimes these are the same type of books?

Cerf:

Oh, sure they do. But so do all paperbacks. We had a virtual monopoly when paperbacks started, with titles like Moby Dick and The Scarlet Letter. Now you can get these two books in about fourteen different editions. Those are out of copyright books. But still the Modern Library is so attractively made...

Q:

It's a real book too.

Cerf:

It's a real book. We have a very attractive binding and attractive jackets and the type is kept immaculate. If the plates start wearing out, we order new ones. We watch that with loving care because the Modern Library is the keystone of Random House. That's what started the whole darn thing.

Q:

But did you ever feel the pinch?

Cerf:

Oh, sure. Whereas Modern Library had been growing by leaps and bounds, when the paperbacks came into favor, we were lucky to hold our own. It's only by adding important new titles that we keep the Modern Library going ahead. Each year we go ahead a little bit. It's still a beautiful



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